Bunny here at the keyboard with something on my mind.
This week is a big holiday here in the United States. My family actually enjoys Independence Day a lot, but its the one holiday that we dogs are really not included in too much, and I’m okay with that. I heard that more dogs get lost in our country on the Fourth of July than on any other day. It’s no wonder with all the crazy things that change on that day. I was thinking about how lucky I am to live with my family who loves and understands me on this important day of the year.
Every year, my family has a party on July 3, because that’s when the fireworks are set off in our little town. I know a lot of people get really upset because their dogs get so upset. For the record, while the fireworks make me pretty nervous and uncomfortable, I don’t curl up in a ball of debilitating fear. My family takes a lot of precautions to be sure that I’m safe and sound, and as comfortable as possible during the big party and show.
I thought I’d share my list of things that help to keep me safe so that you can help your own dogs, either though the holiday or other stressful times at your house.
When everybody comes over, of course I like to socialize and meet the crowd. I mean, I’m pretty sure the reason they come all this way is mostly to see me. I do come outside to the party and make an appearance, usually before the food is served while Dad is grilling and everybody is standing around and talking. After I’ve had my chance to meet the crowd, I go back in the house.
This is when the first safety protocol takes place. Instead of lounging around on my couch or special bed, my humans take me and the rest of the pack to the basement. This is for several reasons. One is that it’s much cooler down there and it’s very insulated. We can hear people coming in and out of the house to use the kitchen or bathroom, but we are closed away where we can’t get out should someone forget to close the door, and they put a baby gate up, too, as extra insurance. Mom says that she’s not worried even a little bit about us biting someone, but if we’re out of sight and mind, there’s no temptation for people to do things that could cause a misunderstanding. It also keeps a lot of the sounds out, so if people are setting off early firecrackers or the cars at the cruise in backfire, it just sounds like distant noise to us.
As things start winding down at the party, Mom comes downstairs and puts on my Thundershirt. Dad puts Grease on the TV. I don’t know why he picks Grease every year, but he does. I guess he’s a fan. Anyway, they make sure that we’re all settled and prepared before they walk down to the park to watch the fireworks. Even those of us who don’t have any problem with noises get left behind in the cool safety of the house.
This year, as an extra bit of insurance, I’ll also be wearing my Tagg tracker. The odds of me getting out are slim, but Mom would be able to track me down faster than Küster could if I somehow got loose. Mom says we will probably never have to use it to track me down, but she feels better knowing that she could if she had to.
There are some other things we’re doing differently this week to keep safe, too.
For some reason this week, people have started setting fireworks off early. It startles me when it happens, but I don’t bolt in terror or anything. Still, Mom has our harnesses on when we take walks this week, not just because they’re reflective and glow in the dark, but also because they have a handle on them that she could use to grab us if she had to. That’s a little extra insurance that makes us both feel better.
If there’s a night when a lot of fireworks are being set off, we just stay home. It’s not worth the worry and stress. We can always walk early in the morning if we really need to. Honestly, this time of year we have to be flexible anyway, because sometimes it’s just too hot to walk, so we’re used to rolling with it.
So, there you have my list of things we do to stay safe this week. Take it from me, humans, home is the place to be if you’re a dog on Independence Day. Every year, there are a lot of sad stories related to dogs and fireworks, but I will sleep easy knowing that my story will always have a happy ending.